Bedbugs hitching rides in books? Yep, and it's happening here.
A New York Times piece about bedbugs and other crawly creatures showing up in library books says the problem is occurring across the country — including at the University of Washington.
The article quotes Stephanie Lamson, head of preservation services at the University of Washington Libraries, saying she has put bug-infested books in plastic bags and then into freezers to kill the critters.
Lamson said twice in August, circulation-desk employees at the UW Libraries saw insects crawling in returned books. She immediately put the books in a freezer in the natural-history museum, at temperatures of minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lamson said she chose cold, rather than the heat treatments used by some other libraries, because heat can accelerate a book's aging.
Tiny bedbugs and their eggs can hide in the spines of hardcover books. The bugs can crawl out at night to feed.
John Furman, the owner of Boot-a-Pest, a team of bedbug exterminators based on Long Island, N.Y., said he has had hundreds of clients buy a portable heater called PackTite to kill bedbugs, baking any used or borrowed book as a preventive measure before taking it to bed.